Last week I published a blog post, Blogging Tips: How to Blog Your Way to Writing a Book. I wrote about the process that I used to write the content of my upcoming book from a series of blog posts. I received a comment from a reader named, Tamara who said,
“Congrats on finishing your manuscript! I love the concept of blogging your way to publishing a book. I am a dessert blogger, so my question is do you think this can work for me too? I already have a few concepts in mind for cookbooks, but I think recipe development is key for me as opposed to writing lengthy blog posts. What are your thoughts?”
Tamara also left a similar comment on my Facebook business page, so I answered it there. As I was thinking of a response I got the idea for a blog post because there may be others of you out there who are thinking about using your blog to help you come up with the content for a book.
Here is our exchange on Facebook:
Now here are five practical tips for blogging your way to writing a book:
1. Announce your intention to write a book on your blog
Announcing your intention of writing a book publicly on your blog serves several purposes at once. It creates a sense of accountability. Now that you’ve announced it publicly, you better believe that your readers are going to ask you about how it’s going, and it makes the project more real to you and that might motivate you to stick with it until it is finished.
2. Blog about the theme of your book
If you are working with a publisher, then you’ve already done the work of creating a book proposal for your project. Now you will tailor your blog posts to fit in with the outline of the book. You will not be writing the entire book—word for word—on your blog. You will still have additional sections to write outside of the blog, but if you are having trouble finding time to fit writing a book into your crazy schedule, and you already have an established blog, your writing gets to do double duty for you.
3. Set a deadline for completing your book
Working towards a deadline can be a great motivator. Let your readers know what your deadline is for finishing the manuscript. You might even put one of those countdown clocks on your blog that displays how many days you have left to finish. This will create a sense of urgency and drama and help pull your readers in. It will also spur you on to stick to your writing schedule to avoid public humiliation if you don’t finish on time.
4. Get your readers involved
In the case of Tamara, who wants to write a dessert cookbook, she will not necessarily write most of the cookbook on the blog. As I mentioned in the Facebook comment, she can use her blog to share photos as she goes through the recipe development process, she can write about the ingredients she is using, where and how she sources them, her inspiration for the dessert items, where she gets her ideas from, and how she narrows down which recipes get included in the book and which ones get cut. She can involve her readers in all of these kinds of posts by asking them questions and soliciting their feedback.
5. Set a daily or weekly writing goal and stick with it consistently
Setting and keeping a daily or weekly writing schedule is the only way you will get you book finished. I set a time limit of 30 days, and the goal to write a blog post every single day for 30 days straight. You will have to figure out how many pages your book will have, and then estimate from there how many of those pages you want to write on your blog, and then set your deadline date.
An additional bonus to using your blog to help you write your book is with every blog post you are building your writer’s platform. You are establishing the audience for your book well in advance of publication.
I hope you found those tips to be helpful. I think that with just a little bit of creativity you can find a way to write many different kinds of books on your blog. If you have blogged your way to writing a book, please include a link to it in the comments so we can go take a look.